England tipped to handle the heat with UEFA protocols to be triggered vs Croatia

Gareth Southgate’s men will be allowed two water breaks with temperatures expected to soar above 30 degrees on Sunday.

UEFA have confirmed that 90 second breaks will be factored into each half at the 25 and 70 minute mark as temperatures will be even hotter at pitch level at a 2pm kick-off than the forecast 28 degrees in London.

England boss Southgate has been working all week in hot temperatures as they have been training at St George’s Park and using stats on hydration.

They will also be ready to use all five substitutes allowed through the tournament to make regular changes to refresh the squad.

England have spent the last week training at a red hot St. George's Park
England have spent the last week training at a red hot St. George’s Park

The UEFA guidelines state:

• If high temperatures are forecast, teams will be informed at the MD organisational meeting that there may be cooling breaks during the match.

• Weather conditions are evaluated after the teams’ warm-up, using a wet bulb globe temperature device (WBGT)

• If the temperature exceeds 32°, cooling breaks are implemented

• breaks of around 90 seconds in duration approximately 25 minutes into each half (i.e. around the 25th and 70th minute of play)

• Teams are authorised to place sufficient chilled plastic water bottles (free of 3rd party branding) on both sides of the pitch for the entire match.

England assistant boss Steve Holland said: “I think that the heat is always a factor in every tournament. It’s always in the summer so why wouldn’t it be? The five subs I think is a good idea. I think the five subs could be good for us…

“Never more than now has the importance of starters and finishers to the game – it’s highly likely that 16 players will be involved in most games.

“I think that will be an important factor to watch as the tournament evolves, not just with England, but with all the teams once the game gets to that 50-60 minute mark.

“The different approaches of the different coaches towards refreshing certain positions that can inject a different level of life into the game in the latter periods, but can also preserve some of your players for later in the tournament.”

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